Developmental education, curriculum development, faculty travel, capstone assignments, and faculty-student research are some common terms you will begin to hear more and more about, especially when talking about “Adelante Hostos,” the recent Title V grant awarded to the college in October 2014. The Title V initiatives and activities are well underway and we are beginning to see results already. This grant was written to build on the great work faculty have already been doing to help increase student persistence and graduation. The culture of our division is one of continuous improvement and the Title V was received primarily because we have proven that each of us is committed, dedicated, and devoted to the success of all professionals and students who are a part of our community of practice.
Summary of Title V Activities
Silvia Reyes, Title V Director
Under the leadership of Interim Provost Christine Mangino and Title V project director Silvia Reyes, the Title V implementation team has been working closely with faculty and staff to fulfill the goals of the grant by focusing on increasing student opportunities for success in developmental education, developing new and effective strategies that integrate new initiatives with programs, services and classroom instruction to connect students with programs and support services as early in their careers as possible. Another significant effort is faculty engagement through expanded professional development activities that include curriculum development, faculty-student research collaborations and conference grants. We are pleased to share some of the progress we have made so far in developmental education, faculty professional development and research.
One of the purposes of the grant is to engage students, faculty and staff through an effective, coordinated and targeted structure that allows students to successfully complete their development requirements, ideally in an accelerated time. With this in mind, efforts to provide numerous options to reach and to increase student learning have been made.
With the support and in collaboration with the academic departments, this past January, developmental skills workshop offerings included targeted instruction intended to meet the unique and specific learning needs of students. We wanted to offer students quality workshops that utilize different instructional styles and methods to produce positive results and show increased persistence and retention. Developmental workshop models included:
- One-week workshop for entering freshmen—reading, writing and math.
- Eight & twelve-day workshop in writing, reading and math for continuing students, readmits and transfers.
- 12-day Multiple-repeater workshop—combined instructional hours and educational software.
- 12-day workshop for ESL students—continuing students only.
Professional Development and Curriculum
The grant also supports faculty through curriculum and expanded development opportunities in research and classroom instruction.
Workshop Curriculum Development
Eight faculty members from the English, Language and Cognition and Math departments have been highly involved in revising existing and developing new curriculum for the different developmental skills workshop models. The idea is to promote teaching methods that consider the implementation of new assignments and to experiment with new techniques to evaluate student learning. Participating faculty include: Andrea Fabrizio, Cynthia Jones, Matthew Moses, Christine Hutchins, Karin Lundberg, Patricia Frenz-Belkin, Tere Martinez, Armando Amador, and Olen Dias.
In December 2014, close to 40 faculty and non-teaching facilitators attended three half-days of professional development activities. The goal of the professional development was to support facilitators scheduled to run workshops in January 2015 by providing opportunities that focus on strategies for setting goals, designing and incorporating assignments, and sharing best practices.
The professional development included participating in a webinar entitled “Managing Disruptive Classroom Behavior.”
Faculty Conference Grants
To foster professional growth in teaching and learning, Title V provides faculty with $1,000 per academic year to cover the cost of traveling to conferences, presentations, professional meetings and seminars. Seven faculty members have been funded to date to attend conferences in Canada and Boston. Six of them will present at the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACCTEP) conference in March 2015. All faculty engaged in this activity will share strategies and ideas with the college community in the fall 2015 semester. Funds to support three additional faculty members are still available for those who are planning to present or attend a conference in spring or summer 2015.
Capstone Assignment Task Force
Building on the achievements of the OAA Capstone Course Committee led by Andrea Fabrizio, Associate Professor of English, the Title V Capstone Assignment Task Force will begin the process of transforming 200-level courses by infusing them with capstone projects/assignments. Capstone assignments are comprehensive learning exercises designed to strengthen student ability and capacity to engage in higher order academic skill building experiences. Twenty-two (22) courses over the next five-years will include newly created or refined capstone assignments. Traditionally, capstone courses/assignments include assignments and activities related to: research, writing, presenting, collaboration, or any combination thereof. This semester, four faculty members are involved in designing capstone assignments and they include: Petal Leu Wai See, Assistant Professor from Allied Health Sciences-Dental Hygiene; Amy Ramson, Associate Professor in Behavioral and Social Sciences and Unit Coordinator-Public Administration and Paralegal Studies; Jacqueline DiSanto, Assistant Professor and Unit Coordinator in Education-Early Childhood, and 2014 New York Professor of the Year Cynthia Jones, Lecturer in English.
Title V will support ten faculty research projects every year for the next five years. Each faculty will engage in a disciplinary research project(s) of choice while working with three student research assistants. Faculty benefit from three hours of release time and students are paid a modest stipend for 45 hours of work. The intent is to help faculty move forward a portion of research on a new or existing project and to engage students in authentic research assignments so that they build their research skills, improve their capacity to learn and motivation. This initiative also places high emphasis on student engagement. Thus, it is an opportunity to connect students more fully with the institution and with accessible academic tasks that contribute to increased persistence and graduation rates.
The spring 2015 semester is exceptional in that ten (10) faculty from five (5) disciplines and thirty (30) students are being supported by Title V. Dr. Tia McNair, Senior Director for Student Success at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&) is generously committing her expertise to the success of Hostos faculty and students. She met with faculty research leaders in a half-day workshop during the January 2015 intersession and will be meeting with the student research assistants on campus today, February 6. The workshop will cover the importance of identifying research questions and designing projects, literature review, research skills workshop and the research certification process.
The full list of projects and faculty for spring 2015 appears below.
Language can change history: Soweto experience
Gail August, Language and Cognition
RePlay: Video game sonatas
Matthew Bethancourt, Humanities
Planning for End-of-Life Care is not a Death Sentence: Understanding End-of-Life Planning in Minority Communities
Eunice Flemister, Education
QR/QL in BSS classrooms & Outlaw female motorcycle clubs
Sarah Hoiland, Social Science
Fascist anti-semitism: Role of Italian artists and intellectuals
Ernest Ialongo, Social Sciences
Latino way food groups and Latino-plate food guidelines
Iris Mercado, Education
Role of kinetic learning in play
Rees Shad, Humanities
Participatory action research: Using visual and observational methods to recycling at Hostos and beyond
Karen Steinmayer, Behavioral Science
Modeling the Earth: Moon satellite orbit
Alexander Vaninsky, Mathematics
HIV/AIDS in young adult populations
Elys Vasquez-Iscan, Education
QR/QL in BSS classrooms & Cognitive aspects of prejudice towards bisexual and transgender individuals
Kate Wolfe, Behavioral Science
Seven-week CATW/Reading Workshop
Title V in collaboration with the Writing Center will offer a seven-week workshop during
the spring 2015 semester to students who have taken the CATW and reading exams
on multiple occasions and have yet to pass the exams. Along with the weekly instruction and tutorials, a variety of test anxiety, time management and study skills techniques will be incorporated.
ESL Extended Summer Course
This course will be offered to incoming freshmen and continuing students who need to take ESL 25/26.
Grammar Immersion Workshop for ESL students
Incoming freshmen placed in ESL courses will be invited to attend a twenty-hour grammar workshop to be offered in August 2015.